I created this blog to review the various recipes I find & try, as well as keep track of all the pure deliciousness that I want to be able to go back & revisit! I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fully Loaded Cheesy Potato Soup

I was in the mood for a loaded baked potato soup to make one night. I found this one on one of my "mommy boards" that I hadn't frequented recently. I'm so glad that I went out on a limb & gave it a shot. I don't typically like anything with beer unless it's beer brats, but this soup was fantastic! It reminded me of The Melting Pot's cheese fondue with beer. SO good! I don't have an immersion blender so I just cut everything into small enough pieces that I didn't mind it not blended. I think it would be just as good blended though so you could dip crusty sourdough bread into it! The only thing I omitted was the celery because I didn't want to have to buy an entire pkg of celery just for 1 rib. I used MGD for the beer & Sriracha sauce for the hot sauce. I do think it needs way more bacon as I added about 3 slices to each bowl. I also used the garlic "paste" in a tube that you can find in the refrigerated veggie section. It's SO much easier than having to try to deal with garlic cloves. I added extra garlic powder at the end to taste, as well as season salt & white pepper. I ended up having the leftovers this morning and it was even better! Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Fully Loaded Cheesy Potato Soup
via KYPreggo, BabyCenter.com

4 Tbsp butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
12 oz bottle of a light-bodied beer
2 large potatoes, peeled & chopped
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
hot sauce, to taste (1 good 4" circle in the pot)
Worchestershire sauce, to taste (about 3-4 dashes)
salt & pepper
sour cream, for topping
cooked bacon, for topping
chopped chives, for topping

In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion & carrot and saute until vegetables start to soften, about 4 mins. Add in the garlic paste & stir well. Sprinkle the flour into the pan & continue to stir for 2 mins to toast the flour. Gradually whisk in the broth, then the milk & beer. Stir in the potatoes & bring soup to a boil. Reduce the heat & simmer until the potato is tender, about 20-30 mins. Add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring until melted & smooth after each addition. Season the soup to taste with the hot sauce, worchestershire, (season) salt & pepper. Divide the soup into bowls & top with sour cream, bacon & chives.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cinnamon Honey Butter

Mmmmmm, SOOOO good! I doubled the amount of cinnamon called for so it actually had a reason to be in the title. I also used regular salted butter instead of unsalted & adding the salt later. For the record, the butter mixture will definitely come together if you aren't doing it by hand with a butter knife like I did, lol. DEFINITELY use the mixer!

Cinnamon Honey Butter
adapted from recipe by Ina Garten, FoodNetwork.com

1 stick salted butter, at room temp
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp honey

Mix all ingredients together with a mixer (handheld or KitchenAid style) until it makes a homogenous mixture. Serve at room temperature for easy spreading.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rustic Blackberry Pie w/Graham Cracker Crust

I absolutely can not believe how delicious this pie turned out for how easy the prep was! The vanilla extract added that extra little surprise to the filling that was amazing. I only ended up getting a piece my roommate inhaled the rest of the pie. :'( I will definitely be making this again!

Rustic Blackberry Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
via Blue Eyed Bakers
serves 6-8

1 pre-made graham cracker crust
4 1/2 cups frozen blackberries, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
whipped cream or ice cream for serving

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 3 cups of the blackberries with the granulated sugar and cornstarch. Once the berries start to defrost, mash the mixture to create some juice. Stir until thickened, about 8-10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent too much sticking. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract & the remaining berries. Taste the filling to see if it's too tart for your liking at this point (you can add some more granulated sugar). Spoon the filling into the crust & chill. Serve with whipped cream and/or ice cream.

Coconut Tapioca Pudding

I made this pudding the other night when I was trying to find something "different" than just plain ol' tapioca pudding. I have to say that it turned out heavenly & my roommate would concur. The addition of the whipped cream folded in made it so that it wasn't too sweet or heavy. I would definitely make this again & maybe even use it as part of the filling for a coconut cream pie!

Coconut Tapioca Pudding
adapted from Emeril Lagasse, FoodNetwork.com

1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cup vanilla coconut milk
3/4 cup cream of coconut
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated coconut, toasted

Over a double boiler, whisk together the tapioca, sugar, salt, egg yolks, milk & cream of coconut. Stir often until it thickens, about 10-15 mins. Remove from heat & cool completely. In a bowl, whisk heavy cream until stiff. Fold whipped cream & toasted coconut into the cooled pudding. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes: I mixed the toasted coconut into the pudding, then refrigerated overnight. The next day I whipped the cream & folded it in, then served.

Bleu Cheese Dressing

This dressing turned out spectacularly so this is definitely going into my keeper pile! I did add some garlic powder & let it sit overnight so that the flavors would develop & meld together. Mmmm, now I want a freakin' salad!

Bleu Cheese Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled (about 3 oz), divided
1/2 cup half & half
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, 1/4 cup blue cheese, half & half, sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire, and salt until smooth. Gently stir in the remaining 1/4 cup blue cheese and season with pepper to taste. Use now or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Super Moist Cornbread

This is my absolute FAVORITE cornbread recipe as it truly is moist! I love pairing it with my Turkey Pumpkin Chili. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Super Moist Cornbread
via Christine0120

1 stick butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375*F & grease 9x9 pan. Melt butter in saucepan over medium low heat; stir in sugar until dissolved. Let mixture cool; beat in eggs. Mix buttermilk with baking soda; add to mixture. Slowly add dry ingredients & mix well. Bake for 25-35 mins or until toothpick comes out clean.

Christine's Notes: I add a well drained can of corn. I have also cut the sugar down & added jalapenos and pepper jack cheese for a savory & spicy cornbread.

My Notes: I've used Splenda in place of the sugar but found that I had to add it in with the dry ingredients at the end so it didn't make a nasty clump.

Berry Blue Baby Punch

I made this punch for my baby shower when I was pregnant with Ethan. I loved the fact it was a baby blue color since I was having a baby boy. You could also change this to a red berry Kool-Aid to make a pink punch for a little girl. I was a little thrown off by the combo of Kool-Aid with soda pop & juice but the double batch I made was gone in under a hour! I would definitely make this again, even if it wasn't for a baby shower!

Berry Blue Baby Punch

1-0.13 oz pkg blue berry Kool-Aid mix
2 liters Sprite or 7-Up
64 oz white cranberry juice
1 cup superfine white sugar
8 scoops vanilla ice cream

In a large punch bowl, stir together the Kool-Aid, Sprite & juice. Taste and stir in sugar to your liking. Float scoops of ice cream on the top.

Note: The ice cream melts somewhat and turns the punch a beautiful baby blue color with frothy white clouds floating on the top.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Unstuffed Pepper Skillet

I made this the other night for a quick & easy dinner. I found a 3 pack of red, yellow & green peppers for a $1 & this immediately came to mind. I absolutely LOVE stuffed bell peppers but was looking for something fairly diet friendly I am doing Weight Watchers. This was a winner. I changed it up a bit & added the cheese to each of bowl separately. And yes, to your very discerning eye, you will noticed that I switched out a red onion (in the picture) for the frozen diced onion. I forgot I had them in the freezer to try out & figured I'd save the red to slice thinly & caramelize up to put in a BBQ chicken wrap for lunch this week. :) Oh & for the record, this was also pretty yummy warmed up in a skillet with 2 eggs scrambled in for breakfast. VERY filling!

Unstuffed Pepper Skillet
via Astrid, Lunches Fit For A Kid
makes 4 servings, 9.5 WW pts each

                 THE CAST OF CHARACTERS

1 lb ground turkey
1 green bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
1 cup frozen diced onions
2 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1 c dry Jasmine rice, cooked according to directions
shredded cheddar cheese, to taste

In a 3 qt saute pan, brown turkey. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and worchestershire sauce. When it is browned, set aside in a bowl (don't drain). In the same pan, sweat the pepper and onion on medium heat until soft and the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. When the peppers and onions are done, stir the meat back in; add the spaghetti sauce & cooked rice to the pan and stir well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Salted Caramel Syrup

I made this to take with for my New Year's Eve weekend. I figured we (or at least I) were going to need some serious coffee to keep us awake until midnight, lol. Overall, this recipe was very easy though I'd never dry melted sugar before. It did have a slightly burnt flavor to the actual caramel but you didn't notice it once it was mixed into your coffee. I ended up using it to make Salted Caramel Mochas for everyone & got the best compliment ("This is the BEST coffee I've ever had!). I will probably make this again, once I'm off of Weight Watchers, lol.

Salted Caramel Syrup
via 52 Kitchen Adventures

1/2 c sugar
3 Tbsp salted butter, cubed
1/4 c heavy cream, at room temp

In a medium saucepan, cook the sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula (if it becomes lumpy, reduce heat & refrain from stirring). When it turns a deep amber color, add the butter & stir until it's melted. Add the heavy cream & whisk until the caramel is smooth (be careful, it'll bubble up when you add the cream). Remove from heat & let cool. Refrigerate extra syrup.

Salted Caramel Mochas
adapted from 52 Kitchen Adventures

1 K-cup of your favorite coffee
1 rounded house tablespoon (not a measuring spoon, just large silverware) Salted Caramel Syrup
2 rounded house tablespoons of your favorite hot cocoa mix
sea salt to sprinkle on top before serving

Place cocoa powder & caramel sauce in bottom of mug. Brew coffee over & stir until completely dissolved. Taste & add salt to your tastes.

Notes: Starbucks uses a blend of smoked sea salt & turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pumpkin Smoothies

I decided to make these as part of a healthy breakfast. I made the entire recipe & ended up refrigerating the leftovers to drink later. I have to say that I MUCH preferred the refrigerated version to the icy smoothie straight out of the blender. It seemed to be much creamier after it had "defrosted" a bit in the fridge. I'll definitely make these again to have with breakfast but they'll be made with refrigerated pumpkin pie filling instead of frozen. Also, I topped with some cinnamon & omitted the graham crackers completely.

Pumpkin Smoothies
via Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman
makes 8 servings

15 oz pumpkin pie filling
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
cinnamon graham crackers, crushed

Well ahead of time, place pumpkin pie filling into a freezer-safe container. Freeze for a few hours or until frozen solid. To make the smoothie, add milk and yogurt to a blender. Drop in the frozen pumpkin pie filling and blend until the frozen filling is completely pulverized. Add more milk or yogurt as needed to get it the consistency you'd like. Pour into individual glasses and sprinkle the tops with graham cracker crumbs. Serve immediately!

Notes: Make a lower-calorie smoothie by using unsweetened/unflavored pumpkin puree, nonfat plain yogurt, and the sweetener of your choice. Can also sprinkle with cinnamon and/or nutmeg instead of graham cracker crumbs. Easiest way to get the pumpkin pie filling out of your plastic container is to run the bottom of the container under hot water for a couple seconds, then pop it in the blender.